Level 5: After Care

After care sanctions are appropriate for offenders transitioning back into the community following secure care. After care should be provided for all youth returning to the community from any type of secure program or facility. Aftercare should be built on a well structured graduated sanctions system with “step-down” services and sanctions. It is much less difficult to develop after care services than append these services to an existing poorly structured correctional system. A model after care program referred to as intensive supervision program should consist of the following elements: 1) short term transitional placement in secure confinement, 2) day treatment, 3) outreach and tracking, 4) intensive supervision, 5) routine supervision and 6) case closure.

Things to Consider

Targeted Behaviors

  • Relapse behaviors

Possible Program Structures or Components

  • Post-release court supervision
  • Community reentry centers

Possible Wrap-Around Services

  • Cognitive-Behavioral therapy
  • Behavior management
  • Drug & Alcohol treatment
  • Mental Health treatment
  • Employment/Job training
  • Family Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Interpersonal skills training

Examples of Programs and Intervention Models

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services Community Reentry Centers

These community reentry centers are located in cities and towns with the highest concentrations of at-risk youth. The goal of placing these centers close to so many offenders is to assist them in making direct contact with families, police, jobs, human services agencies and community services. The desire is to increase the level of involvement with community stakeholders that are committed to preventing youth violence, criminal behavior, and substance abuse and encouraging education, pro-social education and the making of positive lifestyle choices.

Washington’s Functional Family Parole

This program is family-focused case management-based program that takes place within the community. This treatment technique was borne of the desire to not just ignore these children and families. There is a desire to adapt the techniques found in Functional Family Therapy and Multi-Systemic Therapy to this population based on those therapeutic techniques’ proven ability to reduce future criminal behavior.

Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiatives

The West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services is expanding an existing Reentry Court Program throughout West Virginia. Collaborative partnerships with various local government agencies, community service organizations, and faith-based organizations are being used to provide institutional and community-based transition services to offenders ages 14–21. West Virginia’s Reentry Court Program provides employment training and assistance, educational training, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, medical and dental assistance, community service, community-based incentives, housing assistance, community support services, and intensive case management.

Additional Resources

The links below are connected to FINDyouthinfo.org, a website dedicated to helping practitioners find effective youth programs. Each link will give a full description of each program listed.

Functional Family Therapy

Multi-Systemic Therapy